As of December 1st, 2013 a total fishing ban is valid for 3 months of the year on the Moon Fish Bank, a small area on the Saba Bank. During this period, a fish spawning aggregation is taking place.
This is a phenomenon in which annually certain fish species from around the Saba Bank, in a given period of time, concentrate in a small area in order to procreate. Since people became aware of this phenomenon, fishing has been increasingly exercised on the Moonfish Bank. Research has shown that this type of spawning should be protected to maintain the health of the fishes. Thereby the source of income of fishermen is properly protected as well
The seasonal closure was done at the request of, and in close collaboration with the fishermen. The ban was imposed by the State Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, on the advice of the Fisheries Commission Caribbean Netherlands and will be upheld by the Coast Guard. The closed area will be monitored over the next five years, where after the results will be evaluated. This is to verify whether the measure is effective or whether additional or different regulatory regime should be put in place.
Press release RCN, December 4, 2013